Do you know what is saving my life right now?  Audiobooks.  Afternoon quiet time these days normally involves Ellis sitting at the table and listening to one story or another.  Doodling with play dough, crayons, or something to do with his hands, and he'll make it through an hour or more.  It's magical.   And even more magical is that I recently just figured out how to access the audiobooks from my home library in Washington.  Here are a couple of books we have been listening to in our house lately: 

The Frog and Toad books written (and read) by Arnold Lobel are hands down Ellis's favorite.  He literally has them memorized - and performs them.  If you ever see Ellis banging his head against a wall or shouting at seeds, Toad is to blame.   I might be annoyed after having listened to them 1,000 times except that the stories are so absolutely charming.  You can have a listen to the audiobooks on Youtube here.  

One of my first attempts to introduce chapter books to Ellis was My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.  This is my personal favorite and a big hit with Ellis too.  I read it aloud with the book first and I'm glad I did, because the illustrations are fantastic.  It was written in 1948 and I feel slightly cheated that this wasn't a part of my childhood.   Ellis doesn't really like the audiobook from the library; the best is read by Sean Astin (of Lord of the Rings fame) and can be listened to here.  

There are over 50 books in the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne, but I can't convince Ellis to get past #1.  The first in the series, he's listened to "Dinosaurs Before Dark" (you can listen to the author read it here) at least a dozen times in the past week.  I think there's enough content in this series to last us a year or two, at this rate!

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